Business Irish

Friday 19 January 2018

Irish banks' dependence on emergency aid at lowest level since 2010 peak – Central Bank

Donal O’Donovan

Banks in Ireland are now less dependent on emergency aid than at any time since it peaked at €187bn in 2010.

Banks here owed the European Central Bank (ECB) €70.9bn at the end of last year, the Central Bank said in a statement.

That was down from €75.7bn at the end of November.

A further €40.4bn in emergency loans is owed to Irish Central Bank, mainly by IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The total of outstanding emergency support is now €111.3bn compared to an all-time high of €187bn just under two years ago.

The figures include ECB loans to Irish branches of foreign banks but are mainly made up of loans to the main domestic lenders.

Reducing the dependence of banks on the ECB is a major focus for the Central Bank and for the EU/IMF Troika that is overseeing the bailout.

It is mainly being achieved by selling off bank assets to repay loans, but new bonds issued to private sector investors by Bank of Ireland and AIB in December also helped cut the overall figures and therefore to normalise banks' funding profiles.

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